Libmonster ID: SE-301
Author(s) of the publication: A. PODCEROB



Candidate of Historical Sciences

December 27, 2008 marks the 30th anniversary of the death of President ANDRE Houari Boumediene. The time has probably come to remember this remarkable man, his role in the national liberation movement in North Africa, in the formation of modern Algeria, as well as his contribution to the development of friendly relations between this state and our country.

I first met H. Boumedien in 1969 during a visit to the Algerian People's Democratic Republic (ANDR) by N. V. Podgorny, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, when I was working in Algeria as an attache of the Soviet embassy. A representative delegation arrived from Podgorny, accompanied by numerous translators from the French language. The country, however, was then overwhelmed by another wave of Arabization, and the Algerians firmly stated that negotiations at the level of heads of delegations should be conducted in Arabic. There was only one Arabist in the delegation - Kamilev, and, of course, he was physically unable to provide a "marathon translation" alone.

It was necessary to find a way out of this situation, and then my candidacy surfaced. Late in the evening of March 26, shortly after N. V. Podgorny arrived in Algeria, I was summoned by Ambassador D. P. Shevlyagin, who informed me that during the plenary talks I would have to translate from Russian into Arabic, while Kamilev would provide translation from Arabic into Russian. I already had some experience by this time: during my studies at MGIMO, which I graduated from in 1967, I had to work with delegations of Arab countries who came to Moscow through the Central Committee of the CPSU. He also translated lectures for Arabic-speaking graduate students of the Moscow Institute of Social Sciences, and while working abroad, translated conversations between deputy foreign ministers of the USSR and state and public figures in Syria and Palestine. The negotiations took place in the capital, in the presidential Palace. N. V. Podgorny and H. Boumediene entered the hall simultaneously from different sides, and I, following the head of the Soviet state, saw for the first time up close the chairman of the Rev Council ANDR. He was a tall man with reddish hair and a mustache, and light, twinkling eyes that looked at us with obvious friendliness. He did not look like an Arab - it was not for nothing that his colleagues gave him the nickname "Swede"during the war for the liberation of the country.


H. Boumediene was then 43 years old. He was born on August 16, 1925 in a peasant family in the village of Gelma. Already in his youth, Mohammed bou Harouba, as he was known at that time, began to take a serious interest in religion and later entered the Islamic University of Al-Zeitoun in Tunis, and then Al - Azhar in Cairo. After receiving his education, he stayed in Egypt, where he got a job as a teacher.

His life, like many other Algerians, was turned upside down by the war for liberation from French colonial rule that began on November 1, 1954. M. bou Harouba decided that he could not stay away from what was happening. After a short military training in Egypt and taking the pseudonym Houari Boumediene (after the Marabout patron saint of Tlemcen), he illegally returned to Algeria, where he actively joined the armed struggle. In 1957, he was promoted to the rank of colonel, and in 1958, he became commander of the National Liberation Army (ELN) units in the Department of Oran.

Boumediene's future career was determined by his appointment in January 1960 as Chief of the General Staff of the Autonomous Non-Profit Organization. Taking up this post, he simultaneously became the commander of the so-called "external army" - regular military units stationed in Tunisia and Morocco and numbering 50 thousand people. 1 Under Boumediene, the General Staff became the center around which the left wing of the National Liberation Front (FLN) was grouped, advocating for deep socio-economic transformations after the country's independence.2

The war ended with the victory of the Algerians, independence was declared on July 3, 1962, but the country immediately became embroiled in internecine struggle.

Formally, power in Algeria passed from the colonial administration to the Provisional Executive Body, which was headed by A. R. Fares. On the other hand, Tunisia was home to the Interim Government of the Republic of Algeria (VPAR), headed by the President of the Republic of Algeria.-

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meeting with Prime Minister Y. ben Hedda. However, the real power on the ground was held by the commanders of the military districts - wilayas, who were subordinate to the partisan detachments of the "inner" ANO 3, which numbered 30 thousand people.

In this situation, the Chief of the General Staff and the "external" army subordinate to him played a decisive role. H. Boumediene came to the conclusion that it was necessary to support the Deputy Prime Minister of the AFD, Ahmed ben Bella, who had just been released from French prison in March 1962, who was based on the left wing of the FLN. This decision revealed the most important feature of Boumediene as a politician, always, according to the West German researcher G. Portisch, who was guided by the principle of: "I will do everything that will be useful to Algeria"4. In this case, his idea that the coming to power of A. ben Bella would benefit Algeria was predetermined by the similarity of their views on the future of the country, the desire to achieve the implementation of the Tripoli Charter, adopted at the meeting of the National Council of the Algerian Revolution in June 1962, which provided for the establishment of "people's power" in Algeria, the nationalization of natural resources, banks, transport, and foreign trade.

Boumediene managed to agree on cooperation with the command of the I and II Wilayas, oust the detachments of the IV Wilayas from the capital and suppress the resistance of the Wilayas operating in Kabylia and led by the Berber leader B. Krim III. Without the" external "ELN, states G. Portish," ... there would be no ben Bella government; without it, Algeria would not just be in chaos, but a bloody civil war would break out. " 5

In August 1962, the VPA formally transferred its powers to the Political Bureau of the FLN. Elections to the National Constituent Assembly were held. A. ben Bella became Prime Minister, and from September 1963-President of the ANDR, while H. Boumediene was appointed Minister of National Defense. In this capacity, he began to form the regular National People's Army (NPA) on the basis of the Autonomous Non-Governmental Organization, which already in 1963 had to pass the first serious test - the Algerian-Moroccan "war in the sands". Morocco's territorial claims to a huge piece of the Sahara from Tindouf and Beshar to Hoggar, covering an area of 200 thousand square kilometers, became a casus belli.6

On October 5, 1963, the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces (FAC) crossed the border and launched an offensive with the support of tanks and aircraft in the area of the oases of Hassi Beida and Tinjoub. The NNA, which opposed the Moroccans, although it had experience in guerrilla warfare, was not yet ready to conduct regular combat operations. The situation was further complicated by the fact that part of its forces was diverted to quell the rebellion raised in Kabylia by the Front of Socialist Forces. 7 As a result, the FAC managed to capture significant parts of Algerian territory within a few weeks, but they were unable to occupy the entire disputed zone: the increased resistance of the Algerian army and Algeria's receipt of military assistance from Cuba and the United Arab Republic (UAR) affected it. It also turned out that Rabat's claims were not supported by other African countries, who feared that the redrawing of the Moroccan-Algerian border inherited from the colonial past would set a dangerous precedent. As a result, the Moroccans were forced to back down. On October 31, 1963, with the mediation of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and President M. Keita of Mali, a ceasefire agreement was signed, and on February 20, 1964, in Bamako, with the assistance of the Arbitration Commission of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), an agreement was concluded on the withdrawal of the parties to the positions they occupied before the conflict began.


The war with Morocco convinced the Algerians of the need to create a combat-ready OS as soon as possible.-

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armed with modern weapons of the army.

Both Ben Bella and Boumediene were convinced that this should be done with the help of the Soviet Union, which supplied weapons to the Algerians during the liberation war - machine guns, machine guns, mortars, artillery pieces, trucks, helicopters. 8 For independent Algeria, which had taken the course of "developing the national people's revolution into a socialist revolution" 9, it was natural to follow the line of increasing cooperation with the USSR in the international arena, including in the military-technical field. The corresponding agreements were reached in October 1963 during Boumediene's stay in Moscow, and also in April-May 1965, during his second visit to the USSR.10

Meanwhile, in Algeria itself, the situation remained difficult. After independence, 1 million French colonists left the country11. 2.7 million hectares of the best land, which provided 60% of all marketable agricultural products, and more than 1 thousand small industrial and commercial enterprises were left unattended. 12 So-called self-government committees were established on abandoned farms and factories. This practice was legalized by the March Decrees adopted in 1963, which established the emergence of a self-governing sector in the Algerian economy.

However, many other serious problems remained unresolved. 3 million urban residents suffered from mass unemployment 13. The impoverishment of the population has become almost universal. The country continued to be shaken by incessant rebellions - in the summer of 1964, Colonel M. Shaaban spoke out against A. ben Bella, and the guerrilla war in Kabylya continued. The mass strikes that began in January 1965 were layered on top of this. The situation was also complicated by the desire of A. ben Bella to limit the political role of the army, opposing it to the FLN.

In this situation, Boumediene decided to remove Ben Bella from the post of president. It wasn't just a matter of personal rivalry and power struggles. Whereas in 1962 Boumediene supported Ben Bella, believing that this would benefit Algeria, now, in 1965, he considered that the national interests require the removal of the president. On June 19, a military coup took place in Algeria. A. ben Bella was deposed. The leadership of the country was taken over by the Revolutionary Council, headed by H. Boumediene.

Resistance to the new regime was attempted by the Communists, who regarded what had happened as the establishment of a reactionary military dictatorship in the country. Together with the supporters of A. ben Bella, they created an Organization of Popular Resistance, which, however, was quickly crushed in August-September 1965. Nevertheless, in early 1966, the Communists managed to recover from the blow and form a new opposition organization, the Socialist Vanguard Party (PSA).

H. Boumediene also faced leftist opposition in the country's leadership. "Benbelism without ben Bella" was also supported by the Central Committee of the FLN, some members of the Rev Council, the Chief of the General Staff of the NPA T. Zbiri, the Ministers of Labor and Social Affairs A. Zerdani and Agriculture A. Yahya. They criticized the new head of state for trying to rely on technocrats, pushing aside the party cadres. The confrontation became more and more acute, and in November 1967, in response to the dissolution of the FLN Central Committee by H. Boumedien, T. Zbiri moved armored units to Algeria from the Bou Farik base located near the capital. The protest was quickly suppressed, after which the Algerian leader and his associates concentrated all power in their hands.

It is interesting that the residents of the capital did not react in any way to the fighting that took place near the capital. Planes roared over the city as they came in for a bombardment, and gusts of wind carried the sounds of distant artillery cannonade. And in Algiers, cafes, restaurants, cinemas continued to work, strings of cars moved along the streets, sidewalks were filled with crowds of strolling people. In Syria, the author was able to observe the reaction of the residents of Damascus to the attempted military coup in September 1966, and in Egypt-the population of Cairo to the mutiny of special police units of the Central Security Forces in February 1987. The streets of both capitals then emptied in a matter of minutes. The Algerians, on the other hand, behaved as if what was happening had nothing to do with them...

Immediately after the coup on June 19, the problem of relations with Moscow arose. H. Boumediene understood that without relying on our country, it would be much more difficult for him to follow the course of strengthening the country's independence, ensuring its security, and carrying out urgent socio-economic reforms-

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nomic transformations. However, in Moscow, the incident was perceived as a victory for the right-wing forces. The position of the Algerian communists and their sympathies for A. ben Bella, who during his stay in the Soviet Union in April-May 1964 literally swore loyalty to the "socialist choice" of the ANDR and the Algerian-Soviet friendship, played a role in this process14. During his stay in Moscow, he was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union Gold Star.

In December 1965, Boumediene paid a visit to the Soviet Union. The negotiations were seemingly normal, and a joint communique was signed, which recorded the parties ' desire to strengthen economic and cultural ties and increase trade turnover. 15 However, the chill in the relationship was not overcome. The two subsequent visits did not lead to any qualitative changes either-in June 1967, when the negotiations were reduced to discussing the situation in the Middle East as a result of the "six-day war", and in July 1967, when Boumediene and Iraqi President A. R. Aref informed the Soviet leadership about the results of the meeting of Arab heads of state in Cairo. All this, of course, did not mean that bilateral cooperation was curtailed, but Boumediene felt that in Moscow Algeria was no longer treated as a privileged partner.

At the same time, the situation in ANDR itself began to change for the better. The practical steps of the Rev Council demonstrated that the new leadership follows the line of implementing socio-economic transformations, remains faithful to the "socialist choice". Nationalization of industry and banks began, and foreign monopolies were forced out of the economy. This led to a change in the position of the Social Vanguard Party. The Communists supported Boumediene's steps and at the end of 1968 even suggested that the FLN start negotiations on unity of action. Although there was no response to this appeal, the authorities released a large group of activists and PSA leaders from detention. Accordingly, the attitude towards Algeria in Moscow has also changed for the better.

N. V. Podgorny's visit was of fundamental importance from this point of view, as it demonstrated that we are ready to "turn the page" and give a new impetus to the development of relations with Algeria.

During the talks, Boumediene, on his own initiative, raised the issue of PSA. He stressed that many Communists had cooperated with his regime and that only those who tried to resist were repressed. The Algerian leader assured that the country's leadership's loyalty to the" socialist choice " is unshakeable. N. V. Podgorny preferred not to develop this topic in the conversation, limiting himself to the remark that we are building relations with the Autonomous Republic of Moldova as a state and welcome the progressive transformations being carried out in the country. It was noticeable that X had Boumediene was satisfied with this approach.

The Algerians also reacted positively to our delegation's stated intention to develop bilateral economic cooperation, in particular, to assist in the expansion of the Al-Hajar metallurgical plant, as well as to conduct geological studies of the country's subsurface. Boumediene spoke highly of the work of Soviet civilian and military specialists in Algeria, which by that time had reached 3,500 people.

When discussing international issues, considerable attention was paid to the situation in the Middle East. It was evident that X. Boumediene applauds the decision of UAR President Abdel Nasser to launch a "war of attrition"against Israel. He also mentioned the fact that in Egypt on the line

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Boumedien stressed that he considered Soviet military-technical assistance to the Egyptians very important, especially in establishing effective air defense.

N. V. Podgorny, for his part, drew attention to the need to improve the situation in the Maghreb and fully normalize Algerian-Moroccan relations. H. Boumediene, recalling the conclusion of the Agreement on Cooperation between the ANDR and Morocco in January 1969 in Ifrane, assured that Algeria would do everything in its power to finally resolve differences with Morocco. Rabat (indeed, soon after, in May 1970, the Tlemcen Agreement on the Principles of Solving the border problem was concluded between the two countries). A strong move of the Soviet side was that the head of our state flew from Algeria to Rabat, thereby demonstrating to King Hassan II that his visit to ANDR does not have an anti-Moroccan orientation.


Subsequently, the author had to meet with H. Boumediene several times. First of all, his manner of negotiating was striking-without emotion, in a calm, businesslike tone, and at the same time building his line very convincingly. At the same time, the Algerian leader listened carefully to the interlocutor's opinion, analyzed his statements, and was ready to reconsider his point of view if he was convinced that the other side's position was more logical and convincing than his own. He had an excellent command of the Arabic literary language, spoke without dialecticisms, clearly constructed phrases.

He was characterized by high ability to work, the desire to personally delve into all issues. Boumediene rarely made decisions spontaneously, alone, preferring to consult with specialists beforehand, to listen to the opinion of his surroundings. He was characterized by personal modesty, scrupulousness, undemanding. But when necessary, Boumediene was cruel and even cruel-without it, he simply could not have ruled Algeria. It is of interest to hear such a brilliant expert on the ANDES as the well-known Russian Orientalist R. Gland say about him: "He was a man who was created to command, a fanatic of power, but who sought to give it meaning and purposefulness"16. His whole life was devoted to one goal - to transform Algeria into an economically developed and prosperous state, in which there would be neither the poor nor the excessively rich, and decent living conditions would be provided for everyone. Unlike A. ben Bella, he was not a charismatic personality, but his authority was unquestionable. Algerians always remembered the role he played in the war for national liberation, saw that his course served the interests of the vast majority of the country's population, and treated him as the "father of the nation."

H. Boumediene proved to be a skilled diplomat-a realistic thinker, able to analyze the position of the other side and find mutually acceptable "solutions" to the situation. Evidence of this was his success in resolving the long-standing conflict between Iran and Iraq in March 1975: the mediation efforts of the Algerian leader led to the signing of the Algerian Declaration by Shah Mohammad Reza and the then Deputy Chairman of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council (SRC) S. Hussein, according to which Baghdad agreed to draw the border between the two countries along the talweg Shatt el-An Arab, and Tehran has pledged to stop helping the Iraqi Kurds.

H. Boumediene was a deeply religious Muslim. At the same time, he understood Islam as a religion that "...preaches justice, equality, the elimination of human exploitation by man, and calls for the distribution of national wealth on an equal basis."17

In his concept of economic development, H. Boumediene proceeded from the priority role of the state, believing that only in this way can we ensure the concentration of all forces and resources and the mobilization of domestic resources of the country. Almost immediately after the coup of June 19, 1965, in 1966-1968, 74 foreign companies and 11 of the 12 French banks operating in the country were nationalized.18 However, it was not immediately possible to gain access to oil production, which was the main source of foreign exchange earnings and was controlled by foreign corporations.19

In 1970 - 1971, French oil and gas companies, as well as companies from other Western countries - Royal Dutch Shell, Phillips Elarat, and Amif-were nationalized. As a result, the Algerian state-owned joint-stock company SONATRAK began to control almost all hydrocarbon production, and not 31%, as before.20 Oil production grew steadily, reaching 60 million tons in 197921.

Algeria played an important role in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decisions that led to a fourfold increase in energy prices in 1973-197422. As a result, revenues from oil and gas exports increased significantly: if in 1967 - 1969 revenues from their sale accounted for 30% of state revenues, then in 1970 - 1973 they reached 40%.


The funds received from the sale of hydrocarbons were primarily directed to the development of industry. As stated by the French researchers J. Leca and J.-K. Watan, the "mystique of industrial development"prevailed in the ANDR at that time.23

The situation is more complicated in agriculture. The public sector accounted for approximately 1/3 of the land. It employed about 1 million kre-

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and it provided 60% of marketable output. The private sector, which covered 6 million people working on 7.1 million hectares of land, produced only 40% of marketable production24. The task was to reform archaic socio-economic structures in the private sector and carry out its technical modernization. However, even in self-managed farms, things were not going well: their relatively higher efficiency was largely due to state support.25 The poor agricultural situation led to a decrease in the country's food supply from 93% in 1965 to 40% in the early 1980s, which led to an increase in food imports. 26 Until the late 1970s, Algerians, although not hungry, were definitely malnourished.27

In general, the country's economy has developed quite successfully. Per capita income grew steadily, from $ 376 in 1970 to $ 973 in 1975 and $ 2,268 in 1980.28

The main pillar of the regime during the entire time of H. Boumediene's stay in power remained the army. With its help, he put an end to the most radical opposition, defeated the armed detachments formed by it in Kabylia, and physically eliminated its leaders B. Krim and M. Khider. 29 At the same time, the need to mobilize the masses and ensure their active support for the leadership's policies required the formation of appropriate political mechanisms. In 1976, a National Charter was adopted, proclaiming the continuation of the course of industrialization and the implementation of the agrarian revolution, and a new Constitution was adopted.30 The Revolutionary Council was dissolved, elections to the National People's Assembly were held, and Boumediene was elected president. The outlines of a new political system, similar to those that existed in the socialist states at that time, began to emerge: a single political party, a parliament elected on the principle of one candidate for one seat, approval of the presidential candidacy by a party congress. The army, however, continued to play a major role in the country's political life, but there was a prospect of eroding its monopoly on power.

Algeria provided broad support to many national liberation movements. Palestinians, fighters for the liberation of the Portuguese colonies, Southern Rhodesia and South Africa, and fighters of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam received military training on the territory of the country. 31 Algerian leaders considered it their duty to provide them with assistance.

At the same time, Boumediene's views were characterized by the absolutization of the experience of the Algerian revolution. Considering Israel as the base of colonialism in the Arab homeland, he believed that it should be eliminated and that the only way to achieve this was through a "people's liberation war".32 However, we must pay tribute to him: having become convinced of the failure of this approach, the Algerian leader revised his position, stopped rejecting the possibility of a peaceful settlement of the Middle East problem, although I thought that a political solution to it was unlikely.

Boumediene considered the normalization of relations with neighboring countries and the formation of prerequisites for re-integration in the Maghreb region to be the main priority for Algeria.-

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regional economic integration within the framework of the "Union of the Great Arab Maghreb". But this did not mean that he would be ready to do anything to improve the situation in North-West Africa, and the Algerian leader in 1975 did not hesitate to enter into a conflict with Morocco, considering that Rabat's annexation of Western Sahara posed a threat to the national interests of the ANDR.

His attitude towards France was ambivalent. He fought against the French, but at the same time could not ignore the existence of Algeria's close economic, social and cultural ties with this country, with the presence of 132 years of joint history. The Algerian leader sought - and succeeded-to significantly reduce his country's economic dependence on France, while expanding cooperation with it on a new, equal basis.

After N. V. Podgorny's visit to Algeria, the next major event in Soviet-Algerian relations was the visit of A. N. Kosygin, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, to ANDR on October 4-8, 1971. This time, the author translated the negotiations together with Embassy attache V. E. Yegoshkin , a diplomat whose fate was closely connected with Algeria: in 1965, he was a member of one of the student construction teams that participated in the restoration of Algerian villages destroyed during the War of independence, and in 1966-1967, he completed a pre-graduate internship at our embassy in ANDR. After graduating from the Institute, we worked together in Algeria from 1967 to 1971. Later, he was already in the INDR as an adviser-envoy, and in 1995-1999 he was already the Ambassador of the Russian Federation there. His stay in Algeria as ambassador was perhaps the most difficult period in bilateral relations, and it was largely thanks to his efforts that we managed to stop the collapse of cooperation, preserve our positions in this country, even if only in a reduced form, and create a foundation for the revival of Russian - Algerian cooperation in the current decade. V. E.'s merits Yegoshkin was "appreciated" by Algerian extremist groups, who twice sentenced him to death for his efforts to develop relations between Russia and Algeria, because, as integrists believed, they helped strengthen the "godless regime"in power there. Fortunately, everything went well...


But let's return to the visit of A. N. Kosygin to Algeria. This was the first time that the author had to meet this truly outstanding statesman. Just like Boumediene, he conducted the negotiations without excessive emotions and in a very calm tone. I was struck by his erudition, iron logic, clear construction of phrases (which, by the way, greatly facilitated translation).

By this time, Soviet-Algerian relations had become stable. Algeria regarded the Soviet Union as a superpower on which the AND could rely in its struggle to consolidate its political and economic independence. Moscow, seeing Algeria as a country consistently following the path of social orientation, hoped that it would turn into one of the" strongholds " of the Soviet presence in North Africa.

Economic cooperation has been developing successfully. We did everything possible to strengthen the public sector, which was considered - as both Algeria and the USSR believed-the only basis for overcoming the country's backwardness. With our help, by the end of the 70s, the ANDR had acquired well-trained armed forces, 95% equipped with Soviet weapons.33

During Kosygin's talks with Boumediene, agreements were reached on building up economic ties between our countries. The Soviet premier visited the Al-Hajar Iron and Steel works and the African Institute of Oil and Gas in Boomerdes, which were built with our assistance. It was possible to solve the problems associated with the reduction of Algeria's purchases of Soviet machinery and equipment. We agreed to significantly increase mutual supplies and conclude a new trade agreement (which was signed in February 1972).

During the exchange of views on the situation in the Middle East, Boumediene was clearly concerned about the development of the situation in Egypt after the death of Abdel Nasser, especially in connection with the defeat by President Sadat of the left wing of the Egyptian leadership, headed by Vice-President A. Sabri. Nevertheless, according to the Algerian leader, our country's military and military-technical assistance to Egypt should be continued.

Boumediene informed the Soviet premier about the efforts of the Algerian side to further normalize the situation in the Maghreb, said that it was about to sign an agreement with Morocco on the delimitation of the border (which was concluded in June 1972), and also supported Kosygin's intention to pay a visit to Rabat after Algeria. At the same time, a full understanding on security issues in the Mediterranean could not be reached. H. Boumediene stressed that it would be possible to talk about a real de-escalation of tension in this region only after the withdrawal of both the American 6th Fleet and the Soviet squadron from the Mediterranean Sea. A. N. Kosygin quite reasonably objected that it was impossible to approach the issue in the same way. located across the Atlantic Ocean of the United States and being the Black Sea, and therefore the Mediterranean power of the USSR.

The next Soviet-Algerian contact at the highest level was connected with the "October War"that broke out in the Middle East in 1973. On the night of October 13-14, the USSR Foreign Ministry received a request from H. Boumediene to urgently receive him in the USSR. A positive response immediately followed, and on the evening of the 14th, the Algerian

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the leader was already in Moscow. On the night of 14-15, he held talks with the "five" - General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee L. I. Brezhnev, N. V. Podgorny, A. N. Kosygin, Foreign Minister A. A. Khromyko and Defense Minister A. A. Grechko, and on the morning of October 15, he returned to Algeria.

Boumediene thanked Brezhnev for the message sent to him on October 9, which stressed the importance of strengthening Arab solidarity so that Egypt and Syria, which are at war, will not be left alone. According to the Algerian leader, units of the Algerian army, including the air force, are being transferred to Egypt to take part in combat operations together with the Egyptians. At the same time, Algerian field hospitals are being deployed there.

H. Boumediene praised the effectiveness of Soviet weapons, especially anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons, which enabled the Egyptian army to cross the Suez Canal and the Syrians to launch an offensive on the Golan Heights. At the same time, he stressed the importance of continuing military supplies to Egypt and Syria in conditions when the Americans, having organized an "air bridge", began a massive transfer of weapons to the Israel Defense Forces. The Soviet leaders, for their part, declared that the USSR considered the military actions launched by Egypt and Syria as just and liberating. They assured us that we will not leave our Arab friends without help and will continue to provide them with full support.

When the Algerian leader asked to familiarize him with the situation on the fronts, on the orders of A. A. Grechko, maps were unfolded with the operational situation plotted on them. H. Boumediene immediately bent over the map of the Sinai Peninsula. When he saw that the Egyptian units continued to stay on the canal bank and did not try to build on their success, he - for the only time before my eyes-allowed his emotions to get the better of him: "What are they doing! We must not stand still, but break through to Mitla and Gide [mountain passes in the Sinai], capture them and enter the operational space! After all, the Egyptians have enough strength for this!" I translated the words, and then there was a pause. Brezhnev, without answering Boumediene, began to turn and say something to Kosygin. And here the Algerian leader suddenly said: "Does Sadat even want to defeat Israel? Maybe this is all a game, maybe he's just trying to impress the Americans..." These words were heard by Podgorny, who immediately turned to Brezhnev: "Listen, he said something very important," and then-to me: "Repeat the translation." I repeated it, but the Secretary General continued to talk with the prime Minister and did not react to Boumediene's remark in any way, and after finishing the exchange of views with Kosygin, he began to state his assessment of the American position. Negotiations were continued, and the Algerian leader's statement about the "game" of the Egyptian president was not returned.

Subsequently, A. Sadat claimed that "...Boumediene left Moscow convinced that the Soviets wanted Egypt defeated, because Brezhnev lost his temper and shouted about Sadat's stupidity in getting involved in this war. " 34 I claim that this is not true. The Secretary General conducted negotiations in a calm manner, never lost his temper and did not shout about "Sadat's stupidity". In his turn, Boumediene really left Moscow with a firm conviction, but not that "the Soviets want to defeat Egypt", but that the USSR will continue to provide Egypt and Syria with all the necessary assistance.

Two years later, a new crisis emerged in the region - this time not in the Middle East, but in the Maghreb. On November 14, 1975, a tripartite "Declaration of Principles" was signed in Madrid on the transfer of Spanish Sahara to the joint administration of Morocco and Mauritania, and on December 11, the northern part of this territory was occupied by Moroccan and the southern part by Mauritanian troops. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguiet El Hamra and Rio de Oro (POLISARIO) did not recognize this agreement and, with the support of Algeria and Libya, continued its struggle for independence. The conflict became particularly acute after the Moroccan armed forces surrounded two NPA battalions in the Amgala oasis in Western Sahara in late January 1976, delivering what the Algerians claimed was "humanitarian aid to Western Sahrawi refugees" .35 It smelled like a war that could have engulfed the entire Maghreb. And here we must once again pay tribute to H. Boumediene. He accepted our argument that the geostrategic consequences of the division of Western Sahara should not be exaggerated and everything should be done to avoid a direct clash between Algeria and Morocco, the outcome of which would be unpredictable and fraught with the most serious consequences for the whole of North-West Africa. The ANDR continued to provide assistance to the POLISARIO, and then recognized the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, which it proclaimed in May 1976, which led Morocco to break off diplomatic relations with Algeria. However, the threat of direct military conflict between the two countries was removed.

...Last time I saw X. Boumediene was born in Tripoli in 1977, where he then worked as the first secretary of our embassy. In July 1977, a "four-day war" broke out between Egypt and Libya. The Algerian leader immediately flew to Cairo for talks with Sadat and managed to convince him to stop military operations, and on the way back he made a stop in Libya, where he informed the USSR Ambassador I. N. Yakushin about the results of his meeting with the Egyptian president. Boumediene believed that Sadat agreed to the cease-fire because the Egyptians failed to achieve success on the battlefield, and also because of the unpopularity of the war with a "fraternal Arab country"in Egypt. At the same time, the Algerian leader noted that the Libyans should also behave

page 57

not so "badass". And here I was once again struck by his insight. "It seems," he said, "that this is not just about Sadat's desire to 'punish' the Jamahiriya. By launching a war against this Soviet-friendly state, he apparently wanted to demonstrate to both Israel and the United States the seriousness of his intention to reorient Egypt's foreign policy to the West."


H. Boumediene died at the very end of the following year, 1978. The cause of his death is still a mystery. According to one version, it occurred as a result of a rare blood disease - Waldenstrom's syndrome, according to another - due to a brain disease 36. On the other hand, the author's colleagues who accompanied H. Boumedien when he came to Moscow for treatment in November 1978 said that his disease was similar to the then little-known acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The president was treated for one disease, and then some other one appeared, and his body literally fell apart... According to one of the leaders of the Communist Party of Algeria, A. H. bin Zine, Boumediene was poisoned ... 37

What are the results of his stay in power? They are certainly positive. During the 23 years of Boumediene's rule, Algeria has been steadily developing in all directions - in the creation of industry, improving education and health systems, and in cultural construction. ANDR played an active role in the international arena, acting as one of the leaders of the "third world" countries.

Naturally, not everything went smoothly. The strategy of socio-economic development, which largely repeated the experience of the USSR, led to stagnation in agriculture, industrial imbalances, and a decline in production efficiency. Boumediene did not dare to put an end to the corruption that flourished in his environment, the formation of military-bureaucratic clans that divided the economy into spheres of influence, which led to the emergence of a powerful stratum whose interests were incompatible with the "socialist choice", of which H. Boumediene remained a firm supporter. However, this is probably what makes it possible to call him a "son of his time" - with all the bright achievements and tragic miscalculations and delusions.

At the same time, it should be noted that during the lifetime of H. Boumediene, all his mistakes did not become explosive, and the responsibility for the crisis that arose 10 years after his death lies not with him, but with those who, when they came to replace him, could not react in time to the changed situation in the country and the world. The Algerian leader did not know and could not have known that the socialist model was running out of reserves and would not be able to adapt to the post-industrial stage of society's development. However, the approaching collapse of the socialist model in the 70s was not suspected either in the Soviet Union or in the West.

Despite the ambiguity of the figure of Houari Boumediene in terms of his influence on the socio-economic processes taking place in the Middle East and North Africa, it is quite possible to put him on a par with such prominent figures of the Arab world in the second half of the XX century as G. Abdel Nasser. I am more than sure that in his native country - Algeria-he will never be forgotten.

We, in Russia, will also remember him: after all, during Boumediene's time in power, our countries were linked by close, truly mutually beneficial relations, and not only the political and economic, but also - which is very important-the moral and psychological potential of cooperation, which allowed us to give impetus to its revival in the current decade.

Potemkin Yu. V. 1 The Algerian people in the struggle for independence, Moscow, 1962, pp. 33-34.

2 See: Landa R. G. Istoriya algirskoi revolyutsii [History of the Algerian Revolution]. 1954-1962. Moscow, 1983, pp. 181-182, 189-191.

Potemkin Yu. V. 3 Decree. op.

Portisch H. 4 So sah ich die Sowjetunion, Afrika, SOdamerika. MDnchen, 1964, p. 267-268.

Portisch H. 5 Op. cit., p. 267.

Fokee G. V. 6 Foreign policy of African countries, Moscow, 1968, p. 160.

7 See: Sergeev M. S. Berbers of North Africa. Moscow, 2003, p. 57.

8 See: Chvedov A., Podtserob A. Les relations URSS-Alg0rie. M., 1986, p. 49.

9 For more information, see: La Charte d'Alger. Alger, 1964, p. 39 - 42. 10 /article/1496

Babkin S. 11 Algeria: time to sum up the results - http://www.nmes. ru/rus/stat/2002/14 - 08 - 02.htm 127167 - 5.html

http://en.wikipedia.Org/wiki/CIA_Activities_by_Region:_Near_ 13 East, NorthAfrica

14 Nerushimaya druzhba i bratstvo [Unbreakable friendship and brotherhood], Moscow, 1964, p. 27, 33, 37 - 38, 42 - 44, 48, 53, 85, 96, 104, 136 - 138, 145, 148.

15 See: Shvedov A. A., Podtserob A. B. Soviet-Algerian Relations, Moscow, 1986, p. 75.

Landa R. G. 16 History of Algeria. XX century. M " 1999, p. 180.

Boumedien H. 17 La Rovolution algorienne plus forte que jamais -Rovolution Africaine, 1976, N 644, р. 12. 187167 - 5.html

19 LDAlgorie: aux sources des blocages - /node/298

20 The Middle East and North Africa. 1999. L., 1999, p. 313.

21 Middle East and Modernity, vol. 10. Moscow, 2001, p. 51. 2263/1006304/1006304 a7. htm

LecaJ., VatinJ. -C. 23 LOAlgorie. Politique, institution et rogime. P., 1975, p. 252.

24 Op. cit., p. 283.

25 Countries in Africa. Atlas of "New Time", issue III. Moscow, 1972, p. 2.

26 The Arab world. Three Decades of Independent Development, Moscow, 1990, p. 162.

27 Middle East and Modernity, issue 20. Moscow, 2003, p. 257; Zudina L. P. Agrarian transformations and development of agriculture in the Maghreb countries. Moscow, 1983, p. 158.

28 Middle East and Modernity, vol. 20.., p. 260.

Sergeev M. S. 29 Edict. soch., p. 58; MILNET: Country Studies-Algeria -

30 Politicheskie partii sovremennoi Afrika [Political Parties of Modern Africa], Moscow, 1984, p. 72.

31 MILNET: Country Studies - Algeria...

32 El-Moudjahid, 08.10.1966. 33 / article / 1496

Sadat A. 34 The Search of Identity. Цит. by: Olympiev A. The Arab-Israeli War of 1973 - 5 - 2004/5 - 12.htm

35 Morocco in the 70s of the XX century - land/197_mar.html; MILNET: Country Studies-Algeria...

36 Neftyanye vedomosti, 31.08.2004; Esseghir A. La maladie de Boumediene. Histoire d'un secret d'Etat - http://www.afriblog. com / blog. asp?code=bousselham&no_msg-3943; Landa R. G. History of Algeria.., p. 180.

Landa R. G. 37 History of Algeria.., p. 180.


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